Everton want Benteke – bidding war to ensue; Lucas isn’t going anywhere; Ajax keen on Balotelli

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Lucas Leiva with Jurgen Klopp at training
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Lucas Leiva isn’t going anywhere for the time being, Everton are interested in replacing one Belgian with another and Balotelli could play in the Champions League with Ajax.

It is safe to safe that no-one really knows what is going to happen with Lucas Leiva but it is unlikely that the Brazilian’s future will be decided much before the end of the transfer roundup. Jürgen Klopp wants assurance that he has the necessary depth in defence to cope with the season ahead and Lucas’ valuable ability to slide backwards into centre-half could come in handy if injury strikes Liverpool’s centre-halves much like it has during pre-season.

According to the Liverpool EchoGalatasaray are still interested in taking Lucas to Turkey but Klopp will be unlikely to allow a transfer due to the lack of defenders currently fit at the club.

Mamadou Sakho, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are all out injured which leaves Klopp’s defensive options rather limited. Lucas appeared at centre-back a number of times last season proving more than capable with his confident and composed nature on the ball proving an asset towards playing from the back.

Klopp will be in no rush to offload the former-Gremio man and while Lucas has entered the final year of his contract with the Reds he is in no rush to leave the club. Klopp will realize that he can’t really make Lucas stay as he can’t offer him considerable game time but if the Brazilian is content to fulfill a squad role he could still play an important role for Liverpool.

The arrival of Marko Grujic and Georginio Wijnaldum will see Lucas’ game time further restricted than it was last season when Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Joe Allen and Emre Can were the only senior central midfielders.

Lucas will only leave if Klopp is sure he has sufficient defensive cover for 2016/17 season. Liverpool’s number 21 picked up a hamstring injury last month which will keep him sidelined for the next couple of weeks which means completing a medical for the Brazilian could be complicated. The fee is believed to be around £3 million.

It has seemed likely that Benteke would leave Liverpool for several months, almost since the day Klopp was signed as manager, but not once did anyone think it would be across Stanley Park to Everton.

Alright, there is criteria that needs to be met before any bids will be submitted by the Blues for Benteke. Chelsea are keen on signing Romelu Lukaku but Everton have placed a ludicrous £75 million price tag on the the Belgian international’s head.

A move for Benteke is Everton’s way of trading one expensive Belgian striker for another.

Last month Crystal Palace made a move for Benteke but failed to meet Liverpool’s money-upfront demand of £30 million. The Londoners were prepared to pay the Belgian £120,000-a-week but simply couldn’t stump up the hefty transfer fee.

Sunderland are also looking for another forward with Jermain Defoe being the only real player with real quality in that position for the Black Cats.

David Moyes, according to the Mirror, is looking forward to strengthen Sunderland across the squad:

“We were never off the phone last week. It was constant apart from the training to see what we could do. It was more to get the information before we made any actions.

“I think it’s well documented that we’ve only got one centre-forward really in Jermain Defoe – we’ve got others who can do the job at other times. But I would like to strengthen in most areas if it comes up.”

This is Anfield are reporting that Liverpool deviant Mario Balotelli, is on his way out of Anfield after being told that Liverpool are listening to offers for the Italian. Eredivisie side, Ajax have a strong interest in Mario and are looking to take him off Liverpool’s hands.

Balotelli’s agent, Mink Raiola has entered “preliminary talks” with Ajax over a permanent transfer.

Balotelli is currently training hard at Melwood to regain fitness and Klopp expressed that Ballotelli’s behaviour was spot on but he just doesn’t seem to have a place for the 24 year old.

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